The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television by Thomas S. Hischak

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Author
Thomas S. Hischak
Publisher
Oxford University Press, USA
Date of release
Pages
923
ISBN
9780195335330
Binding
Hardcover
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
5
60

Book review

From the silver screen to the Great White Way, small community theatres to television sets, the musical has long held a special place in America's heart and history. Now, in The Oxford Companion to the American Musical, readers who flocked to the movies to see An American in Paris or Chicago, lined up for tickets to West Side Story or Rent, or crowded around their TVs to watch Cinderella or High School Musical can finally turn to a single book for details about them all. For the first time, this popular subject has an engaging and authoritative book as thrilling as the performances themselves.

With more than two thousand entries, this illustrated guide offers a wealth of information on musicals, performers, composers, lyricists, producers, choreographers, and much more. Biographical entries range from early stars Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Mary Martin, and Mae West to contemporary show-stoppers Nathan Lane, Savion Glover, and Kristin Chenoweth, while composers Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Andrew Lloyd Webber all have articles, and the choreography of Bob Fosse, Tommy Tune, and Debbie Allen receives due examination. The plays and films covered range from modern hits like Mamma Mia! and Moulin Rouge! to timeless classics such as Yankee Doodle Dandy and Show Boat. Also, numerous musicals written specifically for television appear throughout, and many entries follow a work-Babes in Toyland for example-as it moves across genres, from stage, to film, to television. The Companion also includes cross references, a comprehensive listing of recommended recordings and further reading, a useful chronology of all the musicals described in the book, plus a complete index of Tony Award and Academy Award winners.

Whether you are curious about Singin' in the Rain or Spamalot, or simply adore The Wizard of Oz or Grease, this well-researched and entertaining resource is the first place to turn for reliable information on virtually every aspect of the American musical.


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